Definition of criticism in English:



  • 1The expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.

    ‘he received a lot of criticism’
    [count noun] ‘he ignored the criticisms of his friends’
    • ‘He likes to get the criticisms in there before anyone else has a chance.’
    • ‘But some of his criticisms about lack of professionalism at the club are well made.’
    • ‘Despite these criticisms, the European governments stuck to the gradual approach.’
    • ‘That's two criticisms with no examples, and I just don't see what you mean at all.’
    • ‘I am going to come back to some of the criticisms about misconduct proceedings themselves in a moment.’
    • ‘One of the criticisms of the Halberg Awards is that too few people decide who wins.’
    • ‘In fact half the respondents indicated they more or less agreed with the criticisms.’
    • ‘Bradford Council has rejected criticisms that it failed to follow planning guidelines.’
    • ‘At the Scottish parliament on Thursday, there were few criticisms of the move.’
    • ‘His irate criticisms flung from the directors' box or prompted by journalists are manifold.’
    • ‘No criticisms were being made of the Defendants on the basis that they were negligent.’
    • ‘I think many of the criticisms expressed here hold a lot of water.’
    • ‘So now I'm waiting on them to return a report to me with all their criticisms and queries.’
    • ‘Despite the bad weather and the criticisms, the players were lobbying for it.’
    • ‘Indeed, readers have written to the Evening Press expressing these very criticisms.’
    • ‘His appeal to a wide section of the public naturally drew criticisms from the purists.’
    • ‘He said he had not yet seen the report and was unaware of the criticisms.’
    • ‘Do you accept any of the criticisms he makes about the way he was treated and about the way the investigation was run?’
    • ‘With their constant criticisms of each other it is unlikely they can ever be on the same team.’
    • ‘He is a friend of the West, and that is what makes his criticisms, when they come, so much more devastating.’
    censure, reproval, condemnation, denunciation, disapproval, disparagement, opprobrium, captiousness, fault-finding, carping, cavilling
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  • 2The analysis and judgement of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work.

    ‘alternative methods of criticism supported by well-developed literary theories’
    • ‘It has taken highly specialised forms of criticism to separate creative writers from their critics.’
    • ‘Narrative criticism has made a major impact on study of the gospels.’
    • ‘It opened a new vista in the area of art criticism in Tamil literature.’
    • ‘At the end of the film, he and one of the producers were really eager to hear the criticisms of the audience.’
    • ‘I begin with some contextualization of what is at stake here for Milton criticism.’
    • ‘I need the support and the constructive criticism to keep me going!’
    • ‘The internet is a good stage for writers to receive criticism and support, and to improve quickly.’
    • ‘The rule compels the writer to receive criticism in a workshop without responding.’
    • ‘In this sense, literary and cultural criticism can be a useful diagnostic instrument.’
    • ‘Jung pointed to the decline over the past years in the fields of Austrian culture and artistic criticism.’
    • ‘We needed opinions, and editing and criticism, just as we need in teaching in order to develop and perfect.’
    • ‘What is perhaps most dispiriting about this book is the tone of these criticisms.’
    • ‘Feminist criticism has debated what difference it makes, what difference it should make, if the reader is a woman.’
    • ‘The same cannot be said for criticisms which appeared in The Scotsman newspaper on Friday.’
    • ‘Elizabethan tragedy, on the contrary, doesn't demand so much explanatory criticism.’
    • ‘Indeed, philosophy should be a good deal more like literary or artistic criticism than it thinks it is.’
    • ‘There is not a word of serious analysis or criticism in the entire volume.’
    • ‘When they relate poetry to music, they invite harsh criticism on two fronts, not just one.’
    • ‘I asked them to write two sentences of alliterative art criticism.’
    • ‘But my really harsh criticisms of the film are kept for the film's attempts at meaning.’
    evaluation, assessment, examination, appreciation, appraisal, analysis, judgement
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    1. 2.1The scholarly investigation of literary or historical texts to determine their origin or intended form.
      • ‘Today, we have the tools of historical scholarship, biblical criticism, and science.’
      • ‘Her library stocks a handful of copies of the Steinbeck texts she needs, but not a single work of literary theory or criticism.’
      • ‘Many students would be happier if poetry was poetry, and criticism was criticism.’
      • ‘His third volume, Poems, and collections of prose and criticism appeared in 1928.’
      • ‘It is a work of biography and criticism with the drama and sweep of a historical novel.’
      • ‘We can only assume that the sort of reading which writers must undertake is not one covered by the term criticism.’
      • ‘As a writer of poetry I have more freedom to do this than as a writer of academic prose or criticism.’
      • ‘That is what Barthes is seeking in his earliest work of criticism, Le Degré zéro de l' écriture.’


Early 17th century: from critic or Latin criticus + -ism.